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the shift

There always seems to be a subtle shift in our home with daylight savings time. Clothes are traded for bathing suits, lunches begin to take place at the pool, outdoor play continues until the sun sets in the evening hours, and daily baths seem to happen in the lake, pool, or hose.

I am so grateful for this slow and simple rhythm that continues into the summer days. It's such a special time of childhood; of motherhood. I wish I could bottle these memories somehow. This image does that for me in some crazy way. This scene I walk into throughout each day is a quiet reminder of all there is to be grateful for.

It isn't the "stuff" of life that makes my heart race; it is the everyday living. It is the everyday beauty.




Only four months apart, these girls are such a gift to one another. I remember the day they met almost 11 years ago. Our daughter, only 8 weeks old, meeting her "big cousin" for the first time.

They would continue for years, seeing each other during the summer and at Christmas; growing closer with each visit. Tears were shed every time we said goodbye. They dreamed about one day being neighbors and getting to see each other every day. We all dreamed about one day moving "home".

In 2011, this dream became a reality. It has been such a blessing to watch them grow the past four years, together and independently; each with hearts full of love for others and God. They are on the brink of so much change and it is something special to have one another to share these un-navigated waters.

As I look at both of them, I can't help but think back to all the years we waited. We dreamed of these days surrounded by family. A vision I thought would always be a dream, yet here we are. I am forever thankful for God's provision in our life. For His plans, in His time, always. And it is a reminder to wait on Him.



soaking it in

Some days I just stop and stare at her. And I wonder how we both got here. She will be 11 in less than a month. I will be 40 in less than a year. I remember when my dad turned 40. I can still see the black balloons and the “lordy, lordy, look who’s forty” decorations. Most days, I still feel like I should still be in college; yet, the reality is that my own children are now closer to college age than myself.

We pour our hearts and our souls into our children; abundantly loving and teaching them. Sometime during all those years, our own youth starts to fade as we watch our children from the sidelines; cheering them every step of the way. There is definitely not one defining moment, but something so gradual that takes place. Sure, we sort of notice it on birthdays, but each birthday somehow turns into two decades of life quicker than we ever imagined.

I wouldn't trade one moment or year of this bittersweet circle of life. These years of motherhood have been filled with lessons I needed to learn; lessons that will be etched in my heart forever. I have experienced true joys and sorrows and realized the meaning of selfless love. I changed.. my heart changed.

Yes, somewhere along the way, I grew up, while watching them begin to grow. It’s a blessing unlike any I have ever known and it is why some days I just stop and stare. I nostalgically wish these days didn’t have to end, yet I know the reality is quite the opposite. It is the reality that brings tears to my eyes and a big lump in my throat. It is the reality that knocks me in the face every birthday we celebrate, with every year that flies quicker than the one before.

I know that these moments are fleeting and I want to just soak them in, however I can.



a choice

“We have a choice today.
We can look out and see the unlimited, abundant opportunities God has placed before us. 
To create. To write. To serve. To sing. To be and become.
Or we can stare at the opportunity of another person and get entangled in the enemy’s lie that everything is scarce. Scarce opportunities. Scarce supply. Scarce possibilities.
And we start seeing another person’s creations as a threat to our own opportunities.”

I read these powerful words from Lysa Terkeurst last week. Honestly, they were a bit convicting. As an artist and mother myself, there have been times I have felt this threat; this underlying feeling of insecurity.

We live in a world where social media makes it easy to see others' accomplishments and recognition. This can be professionally, artistically, or even on the home front through our children’s achievements. Some refer to this as noise. Some may say they tune out the noise, but each one of us is susceptible to it at some point. We all have days where we face self-doubt. Days we wonder when our turn will come. Days we want to quit. Days that we let the noise into our lives.

My prayer is that we will use these times, to search within ourselves. To seek God more. To follow Him. To use the times of waiting for growth. God’s plan for each of us is unique and so intricate. In knowing this, we can rejoice with others. We SHOULD rejoice with others. We should be able to genuinely encourage those around us, while we patiently wait for God’s provision in our own life.

I pray our little artist and her siblings will have the confidence to know that God has given them each bountiful opportunities. As Lysa says, “there is an abundant need in this world for your contributions to the Kingdom . . . your thoughts and words and artistic expressions . . . your exact brand of beautiful. Know it. Believe it. Live it.”



letting go of comparison

So many thoughts raced through my mind as I watched her play in the sprinkler with her little sister. She is almost 11. This time is filled with so much change and transformation; both physically and emotionally. I think back to this time in my own life. I remember how often I compared myself with others. So much of me, wants to free her from the comparison thief that steals so much joy; yet, at almost 40, comparison still creeps into my life.

Tonight, I shared a few hours with six young ladies as we studied Jennie Allen’s Restless book. We were discussing the unique gifts God gives each of us and why so many people aren't using their gifts. Many people never use their gifts or quit using them because they are so tired of comparison. We ALL must stop doing this. God gave us each our own “marked race and equipped us to run it.”

We shared our own personal stories of comparison. Each story shared was filled with such emotion as we opened up raw places in our hearts.My wish for these young women, for all women, would be to free ourselves from comparison. I believe so many of us hold back support, love, and truth, because we spend time comparing and are too focused inwardly. Instead of giving our friends, our sisters, our mothers the encouragement or affirmation they may need, we hold back because of our own feelings of inadequacy. We need to believe in the gifts we have been given and appreciate the gifts we see in others.

Each one of us can look to our left or right and see someone doing something better or different than us. At some point, I am sure we have all done this. BUT, we each need to recognize our unique gifts and find a way to use them for the glory of God.